We headed up here after a walk around the wonders of Peninnis Head (22.6.2011).
Last time I came was at the end of a long walk around the island's principal sites, and Buzza Hill doesn't quite compare with the top drawer chambered tombs at Bant's Carn, Innisidgen or Porth Hellick Down. But actually it's still really impressive. It sits in a commanding position overlooking Porth Cressa and the narrow "neck" of Hugh Town, as well as giving views of the neighbouring islands of St Agnes, Samson, Bryher and Tresco. Only one capstone remains in place, but the mound itself is impressively large and bits of kerb protrude here and there from the grass.
The second tomb recorded by Borlase was apparently destroyed when the nearby windmill was built. Possible remains of a kerb can still be found at its base.
Coming from Porth Hellick Down along the delightfully inaptly described "main road", we got into Hugh Town at the end of our walk around the "showpiece" sites.
A quick climb up Buzza Hill before getting on the ferry. It's a bit of an anticlimax after the better preserved chambered tombs elsewhere on the island, which is a shame as if it was anywhere else I'd have been raving about it! Another massively thick capstone, plus views over the beaches and harbours of Hugh Town. A couple sitting on the seats at the nearby windmill (which itself tops the remains of a cairn) looked rather bemused that I was interested in a few old stones. No change there!
A good place to contemplate the day's walk and feel a sense of achievement that we had at least managed to visit all of the sites on St Mary's mentioned in "Cornovia" during the day trip. Next time we come we'll have to look for the less well known ones.
Ye gods! I was happy to finally reach Buzza as it signalled the end of The Long March.
High up on a hill overlooking Hugh Town, the harbour, two beaches and pretty much 50 per cent of St Mary's, this cairn is not pretty or charming or a 'wowwing' discovery or showy. But is it here in the most commanding position of all, keeping watch.
I really liked it because you can step right down into its little box chamber and be partly protected by the single remaining capstone.
Very accessible if you have limited time on St Mary's.
Buzza Hill Entrance Graves - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003
Buzza Hill can be reached via a footpath up from the east end of Porthcressa Beach, or from just off Church Road (either a footpath from the Power Station, or via the Hospital Lane).
It's well worth the short climb. Not only does the hill give you the best views back over Hugh Town but also it contains one existing entrance grave, one that was probably an entrance grave before a windmill was built on it in 1834 (and which is now 'King Edward's Tower' and lots of stones that might be some sort of chamber (between the two above ones).
Compared to all the 'show graves' of the islands the entrance grave is not great (only one capstone in place), but the position is fantastic and it is a very enigmatic place. The Cornish Antiquarian William Borlase excavated two chambered cairns on the hill in the mid-18th century. He found neither pottery or human bones.
The kerbed ring around the tower is excellent in places and I guess it would have a been a classic entrance grave in it's original form.
Giants, of course, frequently played a great part in the history of Scilly. Buzza's Hill, just beyond Hugh Town (St. Mary's), commemorates a giant of the name of Bosow, who made his home on its summit (now crowned by a Spanish windmill), and from whom the family of Bosow were decended.
M. A. Courtney
The Folk-Lore Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1. (1887), pp. 14-61.
When Borlase was excavating the graves the excavation apparently had to be halted because of a violent and destructive thunder storm. Islanders attributed this to the wrath of the giants who lay buried here.